Animals respond to unusual weather

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The weather in Alaska has been unusual this year and with snowfall later than average to arrive, some animals are giving Alaskans unusual sightings.

(KTUU)

Hummingbirds in Alaska typically overwinter in the south. However, one Channel 2 viewer spotted one hovering near her home in Palmer.

Although Anchorage's first measurable snowfall came on the average date on October 16, three weeks later, there is still not lingering snow in the city. On the Hillside, a snowshoe hare already in its winter coat stands out from the undergrowth.

Higher up the food chain, many bears are still active late into the season.

"Bears normally start going into hibernation, going into their dens at the start of October and they can den up as late as mid to late November," said Cory Stantorf, assistant area biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Anchorage.

Stantorf says the department can't say if there are more bears active right now than is typical this time of year because typically only problem bears get reported.

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